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October 12, 2021
Piatti's Lunch Meeting
 
Week #14 - President Patrick O’Neil
(Writing off the wall)
 
President O’Neil started the meeting at 12:00 p.m. in the usual fashion, by striking the bell with the first-string gavel, which he deftly secured from the stealthy attempt by the Gudger to remove it from the podium, and welcomed everyone to the “Best damn Rotary Club in Arden Arcade.”    
 
The Prez asked Lisa Asperger, who by the way was erroneously reported as being absent at the October 5th meeting in the last newsletter due to diminished observational skills of the reporter, to lead the pledge, which she did.  It was at this point that Ben Fox entered the room to a round of applause.  The Prez then asked Mike Grace to lead the prayer and he complied.
 
The Prez acknowledged Rotarian, Michael Caplan for being the first one at the meeting. There were some nay-sayers that attributed his early attendance to his premature adjustment of his clock from daylight saving time. 
There were no visiting Rotarians or Guests of Rotarians.
Wasting no time, Prez O’Neil jumped right into ringing the bell.
 
Bell Ringers - No bell ringers today.
 
Happy Bucks, Sad Bucks, Just Because Bucks
 
Steve Turner - $25 for the event he has going in the evening to meet Jim Barns and have Steve buy you a drink.  He is hosting a fundraiser at Bennet’s, formerly Banderas, at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to come listen and support Jim in his effort to become the Sheriff. Steve spun the wheel and the wheel was not kind giving him 0 tickets.
 
Christine Jensen – stated she would have been a bell-ringer but she spent all her money taking her kids to Disneyland for three days. They had fun in spite of the rain and the crowds. She spun the wheel and the wheel was very stingy giving her 1 ticket.
 
Mike Grace – $10 for safely going to and from Ukiah and spending a nice weekend with his best friend for his 69th birthday.  His name is Mark McGovern and he is a published poet in Ukiah. For his $10 he wished to read one of his poems, “Snails”, to the club:
She hosted a fancy dinner party, she set the table nice and neat
Just one more thing she needed, from the deli down the street.
 
She asked her helpful husband to buy the escargot
He walked down to the deli and bought a bag to go
 
He started home but stopped to have a drink or two
He had the best intentions, as drinkers often do
 
When he got home the house was dark, he fumbled for his keys
He spilled the contents of the bag, he dropped down to his knees
 
A light came on, his wife appeared, she gave him an evil stare
He looked down at the snails and said, come on you guys, we’re almost there
 
There were some in the room that felt Mike had found a way to inject his warped sense of humor into the meeting under false pretenses and wrongly accused him of writing under the assumed name of Mark McGovern.  Mike, taking advantage of every penny of the $10, added that his friend Mark was indeed a real person and had “recently developed a problem, drinking brake fluid.  We aren’t too concerned about this, as we know he can stop any time.”  Some members were incensed that Mike was able to insert two samples of warped humor into one Happy Buck and called for a fine to be levied.  The Prez, noting the stealth employed to insert the second joke, declined to impose a fine.  To add insult to injury, Mike was allowed to spin the wheel.  Carma gave Mike a 4-ticket win and then abruptly changed it to a 1-ticket win, partially satisfying some of the offended club members with the feeling that a modicum of justice had been dealt. The Prez did warn Mike that he might be banned in the future from reading anything to the club.
 
Prez O’Neil – because the Giants beat the Dodgers last night. 
 
Les Gudger – because he got to go to the Giants game on Friday night with his son. His boss bought them tickets on the first base side of the field.  They were surrounded by Dodger fans, bitching and moaning the whole game.   Les was awarded 1 ticket for his spin.  
 
News, Announcements and Stuff Like That
 
Prez O’Neil acknowledged members of the Gold Tournament Committee last week.  However, Lynn and Rob were not present so he wished to thank them today since they were in attendance this week.
 
The Passport Club will be doing a Trivia Night in April, more information to comeThe Prez wanted to know if anyone would like to go to this or should we consider doing something similar as a fun event or fundraiser?
 
Bill Hambrick joined the meeting at this time.
 
It was suggested that Matt Ross be informed of the trivia event as the and his wife are known trivia enthusiasts. Participating in the event might help the members of the Passport Club decide to join a club that actually meets somewhere.  The Prez noted that the trivia being covered dealt with events in the 1980’s and he was born in the 80’s so he wouldn’t be a good participant.  Jenny Davini noted that the Prez was rubbing his youthful age in the faces of those with a few more years under their belts.  The Prez responded you don’t look this young for no reason.
 
Prez O’Neil announced that the Citrus Heights Rotary Club is having a crab feed.  He wanted to know if we should buy a table?  More info to come.
 
A board meeting will be held tomorrow at Jenny Davini’s house.
 
The Secret Word… did anyone get it this week?  Lisa Asperger noted that she checked and couldn’t find one.  That was the correct answer.  There was no Secret Word.  Lisa was awarded a spin of the wheel for getting the right answer.   The Secret Word this week is “Word.”
 
Steve Turner announced that the District Foundation Dinner is October 30th and wanted to know if anyone wanted to attend the event and if we should purchase a table?  Steve, Tim and Les indicated a desire to attend.  The Prez will look into getting a table and filling it up. 
 
Linda Biggler announced that next week’s speaker is Inez with Chicks in Crisis.  They are having an even in Elk Grove this weekend with crafts and such. 
 
Al Cady has $10 happy bucks because Bill Hambrick was not caught in the storm in Utah that stranded 90 ultra-marathoners in a blinding snow storm.  The fact that they were in skimpy running apparel made the situation even worse. 
 
The club socialized while waiting for lunch to be served.
 
916 INK, Creative Writing
Lynn Lizarraga introduced guest speaker Ian Hadley of 916 INK.  She was so impressed with the organization that she became one of its board members. Ian noted that he now has his dream job as the Executive Director of 916 INK. He has been in non-profits for about15 years.  He got a tour of the creative writing facility in South Sacramento a few years ago and texted his sister saying he was going to work there some day.   Six months later the Executive Director’s position opened.  He played a quick video that gave a good taste of their program.  A little girl reading a story she wrote “Fruit Wars” a war between oranges and bananas, and being acted out by people in fruit suits. This was an example of the creativity they try to generate in their students. 
 
916 INK
Mission: To empower children and youth to do creative writing.
 
Vision:  We want to see every child and teen in the Sacramento region have a creative writing program that that encourages them to believe in themselves and understand the power of the written word. 
 
The 21st Century skills involve reading and writing.  Thirteen percent of people living in Sacramento are functionally illiterate baring them from a lot of opportunities and the keys to a successful life. Reading and writing are intertwined.  A good reader is a good writer.   
They start out their sessions with a “spark.”  They get the kids together and expose them to a piece of writing.  This may be a famous poet or writer.  Often it is from writings by their students that were published in their books.    It shows them that they too can write.  This gets their minds going. 
 
They are then introduced to a prompt.   The prompt is intended to get rid of the fear of a blank page.  The prompt is designed to inspire and engage the student to start writing.  One example is they place a bunch of antique keys on a table and they say to them “What does the key open?  Is it a door?  What is behind the door?  Is it a chest?  What’s inside the chest?”  That gets the pen started. They are then encouraged to share what they wrote with their peers. All of the staff/volunteers are trained to only give positive feedback.  By focusing on the positive you help build writing skills.   This is done for eight to ten weeks.  They are working with the children with the goal of a publication.  They start the revision process.  They start selecting pieces they want to build on or expand.  They bring in guest editors that work one-on-one with the children. The writings are expanded and grammar is introduced to make the writings more readable.  Each student has the opportunity to submit writings for publication.  The students come up with at least three titles for their writing.  The writings are compiled and given to their creative designer to work on how the book will look.  When the book is finished, they bring their peers together and celebrate the book.   The children can’t wait for the box of books to be opened and to get their book and immediately open it to the table of contents to find their story.    They get to sign posters for the books and books like real writers do.  The volunteers become paparazzi and are taking pictures of the authors.  Some authors do final readings for their peers.  The crowd applauds and cements the experience for the writer.  They have published over 5,000 students since 2011.  They have published over 200 books with their last being an anthology of a selection of the writings over the last few years. 
 
Most of what they do is either in class or after school.  They started in South Sacramento but have been expanding to Ranch Cordova and other school districts.  They have creative writing summer camps.  Different types of artists are invited to share with the kids, hip hop, screen and song writers.  They were able to continue virtually during the pandemic.  Most of their programs are provided free to the child through the schools and they concentrate on the at-risk students, foster youths and youth in detention facilities.  Their program works will all students and they try to reach as many children as possible.    
 
87% of the children in the program have increased attitudes towards writing
70% look forward to writing
60% look forward to sharing their stories with others
84% improve their social development
78% improve their imagination
77% enjoy people who are different than them
 
The pandemic forced them to change their operations and expanded their use of online classes, Zooming them.  They filled out their summer camps and are continuing to expand.  They offer free virtual afterschool programs.  Unfortunately, they are all full.  They will start taking registrations for the spring program very soon.  They will be bringing in specialty writers to focus on song writing, scary stories, etc. More information at 916ink.org
 
They are funded 62% by grants, 20% by school districts.
 
Lynn noted that 916INK is holding a silent auction and donations are needed.
 
Prez O’Neil thanked Ian for the presentation.
 
Opportunity Drawing
 
President Patrick O’Neil pulled Les Gudger’s ticket, and he drew the Queen of Clubs. Another number was drawn belonging to Lisa Asperger.  She was awarded the Michelob Ultra and she declined the beer stating that she and all her friends only drink good beer. She selected envelope #2 which unfortunately did not contain the Piatti’s gift card.
 
President Patrick O’Neil rang the bell at 1:01 P.M. closing the meeting.
 
Respectfully (more or less) submitted by,
 
Mike Grace
 
Lynn Lizarraga
Guest Speaker Introducer
Guest Speaker
Ian Hadley
Les Gudger Opportunity Drawing Loser
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